Rick D. Isernhagen, MD

Rick Isernhagen, MD

Rick D. Isernhagen, MD joined Retina Associates of Kentucky in 1987. Dr. Isernhagen completed his undergraduate studies and medical school at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine where he graduated at the top of his class. He then completed his residency and Chief Residency at Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma. Dr. Isernhagen completed his fellowship at Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute at Johns Hopkins University and Hospital. Dr. Isernhagen had many options as to where to practice, it was the beauty of the bluegrass and the chance to work with a strong leader in the field of vitreoretinal disease that led Dr. Isernhagen to call Kentucky his home. Dr. Isernhagen’s main research interest is the management of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). He has served as Principle Investigator in numerous clinical trials, including the AREDS II Study for Dry AMD. He has accumulated many professional awards over the years including “Best Doctors in America” and “America’s Top Ophthalmologists”. He has a special interest in Histoplasmosis and treats patients in clinic with Macular Dengeneration and all aspects of diabetic eye disease. Dr. Isernhagen was the second partner to join Retina Associates over 30 years ago and now practices side by side with his son, Blake A. Isernhagen, MD.

What led you to choose Retina Associates?

When I visited in 1987, I immediately fell in love with the people and the beauty of Kentucky. I found a tremendous opportunity to join a very strong leader in vitreoretinal diseases and surgery, my partner, William Wood, MD. Our practice has grown. I continue to be fortunate in working beside seven other gifted and caring physicians.

Why did you choose your subspecialty?

I chose ophthalmology as a specialty and retina as a subspecialty because of the importance of the gift of vision to patients and the ability to restore it and see such an impact on the patient’s life.

What are your interests?

Retinal tears, retinal detachment, trauma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), macular holes, macular epiretinal membranes, central serous retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, myopic degeneration, and ocular histoplasmosis.

What are your interests in retina research?

For thirty years Retina Associates of Kentucky (RAK) has been active in national clinical research studies that have resulted in important advances in retinal care. Physicians at RAK have served as principal investigators in clinical studies on new treatments for retinal detachments, macular holes, ocular histoplasmosis, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. A summary of current active clinical studies at RAK  can be reviewed here.

As of March 2019, I am currently serving as principle investigator in the YOSEMITE study evaluating a new drug in the management of diabetic macular edema, the APELLIS OAKS study evaluating a new drug for geographic atrophy in non-exudative macular degeneration, and the TENAYA study evaluating a new drug for exudative AMD. We will be enrolling patients in these 3 studies in 2019.

What do you enjoy outside of medicine?

I enjoy time with my family, playing bridge, golf, building and flying remote control model airplanes, and maintaining saltwater reef aquariums. My wife, Mischelle and I have two children. Blake is a vitreoretinal surgeon. He joined our practice in August of 2016. Laura has a masters degree in social work. She works as a clinical social worker.

Links and Information on Rick D. Isernhagen, MD

Dr. Rick Isernhagen AMD Awareness
Stanton MD – “Keeping It In The Family”
Dr. Isernhagen – “Subspecialty”
Dr. Isernhagen – “Educational Background Isernhagen”
Dr. Isernhagen – “Ocular Histoplasmosis”
Dr. Isernhagen – “Led You to Choose”


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